Sunday, December 21, 2008


Zoe's home from the hospital.

Honestly, I was deep deep in worrying and planning and stress and feeling a lot of pressure as we tried to get things ready for Zoe and Jen's trip home. They'd never been to this home, not with us in it.

But I met an old friend at Walmart, someone I hadn't seen in years and years. As we caught up, I started to tell him about my life, about Zoe, about the big kids and about moving. About what it's like to never consider that your daughter will be with you at Christmas, let alone home from heart surgery.

As I was talking, I thought of what I said each time I saw her - as she was being carried away by the nurse preoperatively, purple, struggling to breathe...after surgery, being wheeled down the she was extubated and when she almost died that Sunday...

Come back to me, Zoe. I wasn't begging her. I was telling her sternly. Like when you tell your kid to come inside. Now. Or when you tell your kid to go out there and play hard. You come back to me.

So much just gnawing at me. As my daughter exhibits what she thinks of doctors who say her condition is incompatible with life, my father fights a similar battle now 7 years since he was diagnosed with cancer.

To see someone 9 months and 76 years old both fighting with the same abandon and the same stakes is stunning. Both struggle with some rudimentary functions we need to live. They are both teaching me so much about life.

I used to think life was a race. Now I believe it's a brawl. An all-out, grab-whatever-you-can-and-fight brawl against this sinful, broken place.

I said this almost 9 months (exactly) ago. Go home and hug your kid. And if you don't have a kid, go home and hug your dad. And tell them you love them and thank God they are there, in your arms.

And I pray that everyone, everywhere takes a minute to give thanks for strength in our fight.


  1. Nichole1:52 PM

    Godbless you baby Zoe! What an amazing girl you are. Thank you GOD for letting her come home to be with her family for Christmas.
    What a blessing.

    Praying for your family and for your father,

  2. Congratulations to Zoe and her family! So glad God has allowed her to be home.

  3. I am so thankful that this time has come and you are all home together with Zoe. And in time for Christmas, all of you under one roof again. Praying for all of you to settle in with time and start to feel safe and secure again. It has been quite the brawl you speak of and Zoe really fought the good fight. And so have all of you. Praying for your Dad too as he continues to fight. Asking God to continue giving all of you the strength you need this season. I am so glad that you are home together. Zoe's miracle life has blessed me once again.


  4. Amen. So glad she's home. You all needed that this Christmas. Hope you can slow down, now, and start feeling some peace.

  5. huntsouth3:17 PM

    Thank God and thank you for sharing your life with us, who care and pray.
    Love, the Hunts

  6. Anonymous4:46 PM

    AMEN !!

  7. Praise God your precious little Zoe is home. I am rejoicing with you and your family this Christmas. What a gift from God.

    This Christmas morning at 7am is 12 years since I lost my mom to cancer. Thank you for this post and the reminder for me to cherish everything God has given me and cherish it each day.

    You don't know how excited I am that Zoe is home. I cannot wait to tell my kids tomorrow morning.

    Take care. Sleep well.

    Just curious and I'm sure you'll let us know details, but is she on any monitors or anything?

  8. ...and if you cannot be there to physically hold them, then hold them in your heart - up to the Almighty, that He may have mercy and give strength to his children. His children, whom He loves and holds so dear. In the name of His son, Jesus Christ, may we boldly pray, and may we trust with hope in His Love and Mercy. We do not belong to ourselves or each other, but to Him alone. Dear Lord, have mercy on your humble servants.

  9. I'm so glad your daughter is home and you can all be together. Have a very Merry Christmas, In His Love, Michelle

  10. It's been a little while since I've popped in and caught up...I've missed a lot over the past few weeks. I am so excited to know that Zoe's operation was successful. I know you are all raw, battling the many mix of emotions right now. The highs, the lows, the in-betweens. I pray that God lifts up every member of your family and gives you the restoration he promises over and over again in his word. I pray that your Christmas will be filled with awesome moments with your family. Praising God for his provision for you all.

  11. Well said! It's still morning...I didn't know my tears were capable of flowing so early! Congratulations on Miss Zoe coming home! I can't wait to see some pics of her bright eyes and sweet grin again! God bless you guys!!!

  12. (singing) I'll be HOME for can count on me....please have snow (YOU BET WE HAVE SNOW here in WI!) and mistletoe...and presents under the tree.....

  13. Hallelujah! I've got no other words.

    As for life being a brawl against this sinful, broken place....I am so with you right now. I've never felt so pugnacious in all my life, which feels weird to have to be at a season that's supposed to be all about peace, love, and joy. Instead, I'm fighting just to keep going. Jesus could come and get us, and I wouldn't argue.

  14. What a blessed Christmas you will all have! I am so happy to hear that Zoe is home, and can't wait to see some new pictures!



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